Summer is the time of year when bees visit your Pittsburgh yard and help with the vital job of pollination. For the most part, bees are a benefit. They have little desire to sting you as long as they aren't near their nest. But there is one bee that can be a threat to you. More specifically, they can be a threat to your property. They're called carpenter bees.

When carpenter bees come into your yard and fly around your home, they are usually looking for nectar, like all the other bees. But they can decide to create a home inside the wood of your home. Carpenter bees bore circular tunnels into wood to establish their nests. Fortunately, they're a little picky about where they make their home.

Where Carpenter Bees Target

  • Do you have an old fence? Carpenter bees love old wood. As fencing ages, carpenter bees will take notice. Fences that have horizontal members are especially interesting. Carpenter bees bore upward and follow the grain of the wood as they create their nests.
  • Are you doing home renovation or putting an addition onto your home? Carpenter bees usually show up at construction sites. Their love of unpainted wood makes home renovations highly attractive. They'll attack exposed timbers, particle boards, and more.
  • Do you have a deck with untreated or unpainted wood? If you prefer the natural look, carpenter bees will thank you for it. Natural wood is the ideal location for a carpenter bee nest. They'll usually get underneath a deck and tunnel up into the decking. This can weaken boards and create a hazard.
  • Do you have exposed ends on the boards of your patio? Carpenter bees sometimes tunnel into the ends of unpainted deck and patio boards. If they do, you'll see light circular holes.
  • Do you have exterior stairs that are made of wood? Stairs, especially natural wood stairs, are a prime target for carpenter bees.
  • Is your home more than 10 years old? Over time, a home can become more and more interesting to carpenter bees. Aging wooden window and door frames, siding, eaves, soffits and more, can invite these insects to create a nest.
  • Do you have a barn, shed, dog house, or outbuildings on your property? When we build structures on our properties, we don't usually put as much care into staining or painting them. So don't be surprised when carpenter bees drill holes in them.

Proactive Carpenter Bee Control

Before carpenter bees target the wood on your property, you can take steps to control them. Here are some ways you can do it.

  • Paint. While a coat of paint is not 100% protection from carpenter bees, it will go a long way toward deterring these destructive pests.
  • Flashing. Applying metal flashing to the ends of your deck or porch boards can prevent carpenter bees from tunneling into these timbers.
  • Inspect. Routine inspections of the wood on your property can help to detect carpenter bees early and prevent extensive damage.

DIY Carpenter Bee Control

If these bees have established themselves, it is important to understand that many DIY control methods are not only ineffective, they can make your problem worse. Pesticides can be toxic when the wrong products are used or applied incorrectly. The application of caulk or plugs can trap queen bees inside and lead to more damage. And not fully ridding your home of these insects can lead to ongoing damage. Proper inspections and monitoring are necessary to prevent this from happening.

What To Do About Carpenter Bee Nests

The best solution for carpenter bees is to seek the assistance of an educated and experienced pest control professional. If you live in the Greater Pittsburgh area, let the Witt Pest Management team help. With over a century of experience, you'll always get the highest level of professionalism and the most effective pest control solutions when you choose Witt.

While carpenter bees aren't the worst pests that can invade your home, they can be a significant nuisance, a property damaging pest and a risk for injury. Reach out to Witt today and get a complete solution to your carpenter bee problem.